Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Escape from Witchwood Hollow (from Goodreads):
Everyone in Arnn – a small farming town with more legends than residents – knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.
After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.
Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.
To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.
How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Fantasy, Magic, Witches, Suspense
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: October 29, 2014
Source & Format: Author–eARC | Thank you Jordan Elizabeth!
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I don’t usually enjoy witch-based stories, though there have been notable exceptions in the past. But what intrigued me about Escape from Witchwood Hollow was the mystery of Witchwood. Who is the witch? What is her hold on the town of Arnn? What happened in the past?
One of my favourite aspects of this story is the flashbacks to the past. I love layers to my story, and by alternating POVs that’s exactly what happens. It was fun trying to take everything in and put it all together to figure out what is happening in Arnn.
Despite the alternating POVs keeping the plot moving, I did find the book to be terribly slow at the start. Not a lot is happening besides Honoria trying to learn about her new school and town. Which is why I appreciated the other POVs because it gave me something to be interested in while building the story.
And once everything comes together and the mystery comes to light, this book is great. I love when I can’t really figure out the plot until the big reveal and that’s what happened in this book.
I feel like the characters take a bit of a backseat because the forest is really the focus of this story. While I felt like these characters are developed enough to contribute to the story, I didn’t become particularly attached to any of them.
Honoria was a bit of a dud but I warmed up to her as the story continued.
There really isn’t a romance in this story! It’s been a long time since I’ve read a YA novel where romance isn’t a main focus of the story so I enjoyed the break!
My Rating: 3.5/5
I really liked how everything came together in this story. The slower pace of this novel isn’t my preferred style but this book was a refreshing Young Adult Fantasy nonetheless!
Read if You Like: slower paced stories; lack romance; mystery
Avoid if You: want romance, dislike slower stories
- The Hollow by Jessica Verday (The Hollow Trilogy #1)
- Devoured by Amanda Marrone
- Nevermore by Kelley Creagh (Nevermore Trilogy #1)
- Swoon by Nina Malkin (Swoon Series #1)